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Stove-top Macaroni and Cheese

Forget the boxes, the mixes, and don’t even think of waiting an hour for macaroni and cheese on a week night.   I have the super-fast solution for homemade macaroni and cheese, and it is SO good.

Stovetop Mac & Cheese

I have something of an addiction to macaroni and cheese.   When I was a child I ate mac & cheese from the blue box at least once a week.  My mom just did not always feel up to making homemade side dishes every night, and I never complained!  When I got older I discovered a whole world of macaroni and cheese that did not involve powdered cheese and I have tried more than I care to tell you about.


The recipe I am about to share with you makes the creamiest macaroni and cheese I have ever made, and it is nearly as fast as making the stuff in the box.   I make this at the holidays now because it is more popular than the baked one I used to make.  In fact, my brother (who is himself something of a macaroni and cheese aficionado) told me that going forward this was the ONLY recipe I should use.  High praise indeed.

Stovetop Mac & Cheese

One thing I feel I must add is that you really should grate your cheese fresh.  Cheeses that come ready-grated have anti-caking agents in them which change the way they melt.  They also change the overall texture of the cheese sauce.  Of course, if it makes your life easier you can use the ready-grated stuff but the sauce may not be as creamy.

Also, if you are watching your figure, as so many of us are, you can use reduced-fat cheese (this you must grate yourself, reduced-fat ready-grated cheese will not work).  You can also use 2% evaporated milk.  The results are just as creamy, just as delicious, but far kinder to your thighs.

Stove-top Macaroni and Cheese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 8 ounces macaroni, or any smallish tube shaped pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 ounces (about ⅔ cup) evaporated milk
  • 6 ounces (about 1 cup) freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, but reduce the cooking time by one minute. Drain and pour back into the cooking pot.
  2. Over medium-low heat, add the butter and stir until melted.
  3. In a small bowl combine the egg, milk, and spices. Whisk until thoroughly combined then pour over the pasta. Stir until the sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat then add the cheese in four installments, making sure the first is melted completely before adding the next.

Stovetop Mac & Cheese

Serve immediately.

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128 Responses to “Stove-top Macaroni and Cheese”

  1. Karla says:

    Made this tonight. I was really excited to have a box alternative- that tasted better too. However, it had a slight bitter taste. Wondering if it was the mustard powder? Also, the sauce ended up thick and not like your photo at all. All I can think of is that i added too much cheese? I followed the rest of the recipe to a T. Suggestions, thoughts, comments? Thanks!

  2. Kalani says:

    I made this tonight. It was very good. I didn’t use the dry mustard because I didn’t have any. I just need to add a little extra salt and pepper the next time I make this.

  3. Sherry says:

    Since stumbling upon this recipe I’ve made it probably around 5-6 times and it has now become a fixed dish for week nights. My boyfriend is obsessed with the stuff out of the box and I’ve tried turning him onto “real” Mac and cheese and so far no recipe besides this has worked. He’s even asking for this now and our purchase of the boxed stuff has declined drastically. I use cheddar along with gruyere and whatever else we might have on hand, and we even put sliced up hotdogs in it. Delicious results and as you said YOU MUST GRATE YOUR OWN CHEESE. Love this dish!!!

  4. Melanie says:

    This is a great recipe, very tasty and quick, but I find it hard to believe that it serves 6 people, even as a small sidedish. 8 ounces is only 1 cup of pasta. Is there an error in the quantity of pasta required?

    (I can’t seem to read past the latest 3 comments so can’t say whether you answered this question before or not.)

    Thanks in advance!

  5. Kelly says:

    6 servings is as a side dish. As a main it serves 2 to 3.

  6. Brenda Hansen says:

    This is terrific without the mustard, but add Tuna and Cream of mushroom soup!!!! (Mushrooms optional also) Wow, it’s amazing!!!

  7. Venassa says:

    I tried this a few nights ago and it had a more ‘floury’ taste and wasnt cheesey at all. I added extra cheese, but it didn’t help. My toddler enjoyed it but the rest of us could barely eat it. Not sure where I went wrong, but I probably won’t be trying again.


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